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Why Does My Anthurium Have Brown Leaves?

June 20, 2024

If your anthurium is suffering from brown leaves, brown spots or holes in the leaves, these are indicators that you need to change something in your care routine. Most of the time, brown leaves don’t spell doom for your plant and can be fixed!  

Here are a few common reasons your anthurium's leaves may be turning brown and what you can do about it. 

1. Sunburn

Anthuriums grow best when exposed to indirect sunlight. Too much exposure can cause sunburn on the leaves. You’ll know that this is the culprit if the anthurium's leaves turn yellow and brown all at once. In the summer months, when our homes are receiving more sunlight, you may need to move your plant to a slightly darker space to keep the lighting consistent. If you like keeping it in a bright spot, add a sheer curtain to diffuse some of that light.  

Solution: Move your plant to a less sunny spot in your home or block out some of the light with a translucent curtain. 

2. Nutrient deficiency

Anthuriums need nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to thrive, so brown leaves may signal your plant isn’t getting enough of the nutrients it needs. 

Solution: To prevent this problem, many anthurium owners use a controlled-release fertilizer, but if your leaves are already brown, you may want to use a liquid fertilizer for a few weeks until your plant recovers. Remember to dilute the liquid fertilizer to 25% of the recommended strength. Also, make sure you don’t water your anthurium the same week you fertilize – that can lead to overwatering and root rot.  

3. Age

Although anthuriums are the world's longest-living houseplant, it's natural for leaves to turn brown and fall off at some point: this is just part of your plant’s life cycle. You can trim off those brown, older leaves and it won’t harm your plant. 

Solution: Leaves will eventually fall off on their own, but if you’d like to remove dead or dying leaves to improve your anthurium’s appearance, it’s safe to do so if you use sterilized cutting shears or scissors. If the leaves are super small or thin, you can gently remove them with your hands as well. 

4. Root rot or other fungal problems

Improperly watering your anthurium can lead to root rot or other fungal problems that can also cause the leaves of your plant to turn brown. If you notice the roots of your plant have blackened in color or become mushy and slimy, you’ll need to act quickly. 

Solution: At this point, it’s best to repot your anthurium with fresh potting soil and to thoroughly remove the diseased portions of your plant with clean cutting shears. Going forward, ensure your anthurium gets the right amount of water. We recommend six ice cubes or a half cup of water once a week. Make sure the soil dries out between waterings. 

5. Watering 

Yellow or brown spots in the middle of the leaves could be the result of not receiving water for a long period of time and then suddenly receiving too much water. 

Solution: If you think your Anthurium is too dry, consider slowly improving its hydration levels over three to five days rather than in one afternoon.  

For more tips on how to keep your anthurium healthy and happy, download our free anthurium care guide. 

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